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How to Make Your First Website

It takes less than 15 minutes to buy your domain name and web hosting service. But hang on! The adventure is just beginning!

Making a Website

The blank template (top) is customized with text and image (bottom) I'm in the business of getting people started, and starting up often means that budgets are slim. If this is your case as well, I can use a pre-designed website for $250.. You can see what they look like by clicking the thumbnail pictures.

Although these are not "custom" design, the big advantages are:

  1. You get to see what the website will look like before you plunk your money down.
  2. Starting with simple is often the fastest way to start.
  3. Since I've already built the framework, the development cost is a lot lower; a small professionally-designed website starts at $1500 and goes up.
  4. If you like the direction it's going, we can always add more at my regularly hourly rate. This is great for controlling a limited budget, and my terms are very reasonable.
  5. If you've been paralyzed wondering how to start, I explain how everything works. Think of it as a 1-on-1 web development workshop.

If you're curious why web sites cost so much, here's how web development works.

How to Start

A simple website usually provides four common pieces of information:

  • Welcome page, which clearly shows and describes who you are and what you offer, in as few words as possible.
  • Products and service listings, with appropriate pictures and good details.
  • Who you are and why people would want to know you.
  • Contact information, so people can reach you by phone, email, or in-person.

That's all you need to get started. Sure, there's lots and lots of things you could do to optimize your marketing copy, improve the graphics, and so forth, but let me tell you: getting those four things finished will be hard enough. Get that done first before you worry about the rest. Then, we can add photography and customize the colors to get results like this:

This website uses Template A customized for a piano teacher This website uses Template A customized for a piano teacher This website uses Template A customized for a workshop This website uses Template A customized for a workshop This website uses Template A customized for a licensed massage therapist This website uses Template A customized for a licensed massage therapist

PLEASE NOTE: While color customization is part of the template package, photography is NOT included for the base price. You can, however, purchase The $500 Photo+Website Package to get results similar to the above.

What's Included?

My goal is to make you as independent as possible. You'll get what you need to own and control your own website, plus hands-on instruction to help you understand how it all works. This includes:

  • A website based on a pre-designed website template I have available.
  • A set of files customized with your own words and images, ready for you to upload to your web hosting service.
  • All the source materials used to create and customize your website. That way, you will have everything you need to make modifications yourself or use another designer, assuming you have the same design software I use.
  • Assistance registering your domain name with a reputable registrar, and picking a reputable web host.
  • Access to my growing library of articles, with guides such as, "how to write content for your website".
  • Hands-on instruction in finding the easiest way for you to maintain your website completely by yourself.
  • I'll also explain the basics of search engine optimization and set up visitor tracking on request.

PLEASE NOTE: Photography, logo design, and copywriting is not included in the price. I might be able to help you out; read how I approach making words and images to see if I'm a good fit for you.

Get The Ball Rolling

Drop me a line and tell me your story, and I'll break the process down for your specific situation. If you already know exactly what you want to say and show, great! We can get up and running in a few days!

If you're looking for some help figuring out how you want to portray yourself, I can point you to the resources that have helped me. Or, hire me to help you come up with a content strategy. It'll take additional time and money, but I personally think it's worth the effort; read about my design and clarity building services and see if it's a good match for you.